Provincial golf history was made in August when Newfoundland and Labrador won the Willingdon Cup Canadian amateur men’s team competition for the first time at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club.
Newfoundland’s team of Blair Bursey of Gander and Nathan Peters of St. John’s finished two strokes ahead of runner-up Ontario.
In addition to that finish, Bursey finished tied for fifth at the Canadian men’s amateur championship, and Newfoundland placed fourth at the national junior boys’ championship, just one stroke from a medal finish. Andrew Bruce of Corner Brook was fifth at the Future Links Atlantics.
The Willingdon Cup competition was conducted during the first two rounds of the Canadian men’s amateur championship. Adding to the remarkability of the Willingdon Cup accomplishment is that Bursey, the two-time defending provincial men’s champion, and Peters, whose home club is Clovelly, are both just 19.
As well, the team had to overcome the loss of its third member when veteran Chuck Conley of St. John’s was forced to withdraw from the competition. Normally, a team’s total score is achieved by using the two best daily results of the three-member team. However, with Conley unavailable, Newfoundland had to depend on only the scores of Bursey and Peters.
Bursey is on a golf scholarship at the NCAA Division 1 Utah Valley University, where he’s averaging 71.8 per round, and is the eighth-ranked amateur golfer in Canada.